The Wuhan coronavirus, which is officially known as COVID-19, has affected tens of thousands of people around the world. As the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, people may be wondering about their legal options if they contract this disease or if a family member dies from an infection.
The answer to that question begins with the words "It depends". Accountability and responsibility (commonly referred to as "liability" in a legal context) can vary according to the jurisdiction, the facts and the circumstances of each case.
Why is it important to look at COVID-19 through the lens of liability? As with most other torts and personal injury claims, the economic repercussions and health consequences of an infection could be life-altering, and the financial hardship is potentially devastating.
Cases involving COVID-19 may, for example, be addressed in a similar manner to other illnesses caused by individuals and corporations. Negligence and product liability are common theories of liability used in these types of cases, and depending on the facts of the case issues may vary enormously, for example, from breach of warranty through to health and safey obligations of employers.
While the full extent of the consequences of COVID-19 are not yet fully known, people and organisations who have suffered a loss may want to understand how to determine liability and the steps that should be taken to pursue a potential claim. Depending on the country/jurisdiction, litigation in these cases is a possibility, and insurance companies may end up paying compensation.
People with queries regarding potential claims may consider contacting their local lawyer.